Cutting sugar from your diet may seem like an impossible task — but fear not! We're breaking down five easy steps you can take to put yourself on the right path to less sugar in you diet.
Making the decision to cut sugar from your diet can be daunting, scary and seemingly down-right impossible. While you might not want to do away with sugar completely, cutting back on your sugar intake will only make positive changes in your life. If you want to learn more about the effects of sugar on the human body, take a look at Netflix documentaries That Sugar Film & Sugarcoated to get started.
Did you know that the World Health Organization recommends only 6 teaspoons of sugar a day? That doesn’t seem like much, especially when you consider that orange juice has up to 9 teaspoons of sugar in just one glass. Taking it one step at a time, we’ve come up with five ways to help you cut sugar from your diet.
1. Check the labels
Processed food is the number one culprit for hidden sugars. You might not think that your salad dressing or sauces have ridiculous amounts of sugar, but they do. One of the first steps to shaking sugar is to check the labels to be aware of what you are putting into your body. Even if you aren’t committed to cutting sugar entirely, checking the labels will help you make informed decisions during your grocery shopping, encouraging you to eat less.
One way to combat this is to make your own sauces, dips and dressings using whole ingredients as much as possible.
Try: Our Makeful Hummus 2 Ways
2. Eat more whole fruits
If you are cutting sugar, fruit is a good substitute to make sure you don’t go through any nasty withdrawal symptoms. The idea of replacing sweet treats for fruit may not sound like fun at first, but keep in mind that fruit is a good (and healthy) alternative and can be just as tasty.
However, fruit is best consumed in it’s whole form, rather than as a juice. By eating the whole fruit you are getting the added benefits of fibre, which slows down your body’s absorption of sugar. If you don’t love to eat fruit on its own, give a smoothie a try instead.
Try: Prevention’s 10 Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes
3. Bake with fruits
When you’ve slept through your alarm and need to rush off to work, it’s often easy to grab a muffin or granola bar to get you through until lunch. Instead, try making your own baked items using fruit to get a nutrient-rich snack that hits all the sweet spots.
Bananas are one of the sweetest fruits, and lucky for us — they’re great to bake with! Bananas can be used in muffins, breads and even in pancakes. The possibilities are endless!
Try: Plant You’s No Sugar Added Banana Coconut Muffins
4. Set goals
No matter if you are going to quit cold turkey, or you plan on easing yourself into the sugar-free lifestyle, set achievable goals for yourself and don’t get down if you happen to slip up. Start with a 30-day challenge, or aim to cut your sugar consumption in half for the first two weeks.
Get started by following an online 30-day challenge, or find a meal plan and grocery list to help you along.
Try: SkinnyMS has a 30-Day Challenge for you to follow along.
5. Do it with a friend
Leaning on a pal to keep you accountable will help you stay on track to achieve your goals. Ask them to sign up for a 30-day challenge with you, or encourage them to slowly cut sugar as well. Have a daily check in, share recipes and whine about the sugar-craving headaches — then share in the glory when you come out on the other side.